Incoming RI president polio fundraising superstar

John Germ of Tennessee will become RI president on July 1.
John Germ of Tennessee will become RI president on July 1.

From The Rotarian magazine

When John Germ takes office as Rotary International’s president in July, it will mark his 40th year in Rotary. In that time, he’s likely best-known for leading Rotary’s $200 Million Challenge, a fundraising effort sparked by a challenge grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Rotarians surpassed that goal in 2011, raising $228.7 million toward polio immunization activities.

“I never questioned that we would raise the funds,” he says. “Rotarians have been so generous.”

In fact, raising money for polio was one of Germ’s first leadership roles. He became a member of the Rotary Club of ­Chattanooga, TN, in 1976.

“I wasn’t involved, other than going to meetings, until 1983 when I was asked to be club secretary,” he says. “Then I was asked to participate as district co-chair for the polio fundraising campaign.” After that, he was hooked. “The more active I became, and the more good that I saw being done, the more I wanted to do.”

Germ went on to serve Rotary as vice president, director, Foundation trustee and vice chair, and RI president’s aide. Professionally, he continues to consult for Campbell & Associates, a Chattanooga engineering firm he started working for in 1965 and eventually served as chairman and CEO.

Go here for a Q&A interview with Germ conducted by John Rezek, editor in chief of The Rotarian.



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